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Discovering an old J.B. Simmons token

POSTED: November 22, 2017 11:12 a.m.
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The back of a J.B. Simmons token.

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A local building contractor, Dwayne Deal, shared scans of an old coin or token he found in Rincon. It was found not too far from where Simmons operated a Rincon store. What is interesting is that this is for his Springfield store. I have gathered some facts I will share about John. B. Simmons who operated Rincon and Springfield businesses.
Simmons was one of the founding fathers in Rincon. About 1890 he opened his general store in Rincon. In the early days of the railroad construction he and his family ran a boarding house. He was married to Virginia Emma Zittrouer.
Simmons operated a saw mill from 1890-1915. This coin or token was likely used to pay the workers with merchandise from his store or commissary.
In 1891, Simmons was appointed Rincon Postmaster serving through 1896. The post office opened in Simmons Store, the only one in the area.
Four home were built in Rincon from 1890-95. One was his home.
John B. Simmons fought in WWI.
In 1894 a small group of Methodists mainly from Goshen formed the Rincon Methodist Episcopal Church in Rincon and J. B. Simmons was among them. Rincon Methodist was entered into the Goshen, Clyo and Rincon Charge. For nearly two years the group met in the lower rooms of the home of Dave Joyner at the corner of Georgia and Seventh Streets. In 1895 the church bought property, Lot D on Block 25. Simmons was thought to have paid the owner Thomas Hinely the $15 for the purchase and is listed as a Trustee.
Simmons lived on Lot C Block 25 adjoining the Rincon church property. Their home burned in 1896. He began rebuilding his home as the church was being built. The Simmons house was completed with four rooms on each floor. On April 18, 1910, the home was sold to the Methodist congregation for a parsonage for the sum of $1,000.
The first issue of the Springfield Herald on October 16, 1908 has an advertisement listed for J. B. Simmons Department Store on Laurel Street. Merchandise listed for sale includes: cotton seed, hides, hogs, eggs, chickens, farm produce, fancy and staple groceries, shoes, hardware, caskets, Henderson Hull buggies, Russell Wagons, harness and saddles.
At his death in 1924, J. B. Simmons was listed as a longtime Effingham County citizen and prominent man of Rincon. He died at age 63 and is buried in the Goshen Cemetery.

Information was obtained from River to River the History of Effingham County and author Betty F. Renfro. This was compiled by Susan Exley from Historic Effingham Society. If you have photos or historical information to share contact her at 912-754-6681 or email hesheraldexley@aol.com

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